Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of New York and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for New York
- Grounds for Eviction: Failing to pay rent, causing damage to property, keeping a pet against landlord’s policy, refusing landlord access to property & illegal behaviors
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 14-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
- Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: For month-to-month renters, length of notice depends on length of stay; no notice required for fixed-term tenants, but landlord must wait until lease term ends
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 10-Day Notice to Cure, followed by 30-Day Notice to Quit if tenant fails to remedy violation
- Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: No state-defined law; will depend on conditions specified in lease
- Duration for Tenant to Appeal Eviction Ruling: Not specified, but tenant may file Order to Show affidavit with Clerk of Court
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in New York?
It is always difficult to provide a short and accurate answer to the amount of time it will take to evict a tenant. The eviction process in the state of New York is a multi-phase legal proceeding. As such, the amount of time required to evict a tenant relies upon several issues.
In the state of New York, a landlord must first terminate the rental agreement before seeking to evict the tenant. Once the lease or rental agreement has been terminated by serving the tenant with the appropriate written notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition to Recover Possession with the appropriate court. The amount of time a tenant will have to remedy issues leading the landlord to seek possession of the rental property and/or vacate the property will depend upon the issue at hand.
Once the landlord has taken the issue to the court, the process is largely guided by the legal system with all the intricacies and potential delays inherent in the legal process. Ultimately, the amount of time required to evict a tenant will depend upon the amount of time a landlord is required to provide the tenant to remedy the issue leading the landlord to seek the eviction and/or vacate the property and the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.
Reasons for Eviction in New York
The state of New York has established a set of reasons that it finds to be legitimate reasons for seeking to evict a tenant. These reasons include:
- Failing to pay rent
- Causing damage to the rental property
- Behaving in ways that threaten the health, safety, or comfort of other tenants and/or the landlord
- Using the property for illegal purposes
- Keeping a pet against the landlord’s policy
- Refusing to provide the landlord with access to the property for legitimate purposes
Prior to seeking an eviction through the court system, the landlord is required to discontinue the rental agreement. This is generally done by providing the tenant with a written notice. In the state of New York, these notices may be provided through:
- Personal delivery
- Leaving the notice with a responsible person other than the tenant who lives or works at the rental property. For instance the notice may be left with a child care provider who works at the rental property)
- Posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place at the rental property
It should be noted that it a copy of the notice is provided by any means other than personal service to the tenant, a second copy of the notice must also be sent through certified or registered mail.
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
When a tenant has failed to pay rent when due in the state of New York, the landlord may provide the tenant with a 14-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit (N.Y.Real Prop. A. 711 (2)). If the tenant fails to pay the rent due and continues to remain on the property, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition to Recover Possession with the court.
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
In the state of New York a landlord may evict a tenant who is renting without the benefit of a written lease, referred to as an “at-will” tenant, without cause. However, to evict an “at-will” tenant, the landlord must first wait until the end of the agreed-upon term of the rental arrangement if the tenant is renting for a fixed-term, or provide the tenant with written Notice to Quit. The state has established specifics regarding the amount of notice a tenant must be given, and the landlord must follow these for the eviction to be considered legitimate.
Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
When a tenant has violated terms of the lease, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with two separate notices before he/she can proceed with the eviction process. First, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Cure. This notice identifies the violation and gives the tenant time to remedy the situation. If the tenant fails to remedy the issue within ten days, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to vacate the rental property within the 30 days allowed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Petition to Recover Possession with the court.
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
Although the state of New York provides no specific guidance on the eviction of tenants for illegal activity, leases will generally provide information to the tenant informing them of what to expect when illegal activities take place on the rental property.
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?
A tenant who rents without the benefit of a written lease is considered an “at-will” tenant and may be evicted from a rental property without cause. However, a landlord is required to follow specific rules when seeking to evict “at-will” tenants. If a landlord is renting a property for a fixed-term to an “at-will” tenant, he/she is required to wait until the rental term has ended. Once the term has ended, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process without providing the tenant with notice.
If a landlord is renting to an “at-will” tenant on a month-to-month basis, he/she must provide the tenant with a written Notice to Quit before he/she can proceed with the eviction process (N.Y. Real Prop 226-C). The length of time the landlord is required to provide is based upon the amount of time the tenant has been renting the space. A month-to-month “at-will” tenant who has rented for one year must be provided with a 30-Day Notice to Quit. An “at-will” tenant who has rented the space for one to two years must be provided with a 60-Day Notice to Quit. Any “at-will” tenant who has rented the space for than two years must be provided with a 90-Day Notice to Quit.
When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in New York?
In the state of New York it is illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant based on his/her gender, race, religion, nation of origin, familial status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status.
Once a Notice to Quit has Expired
The landlord may file a Summary Proceeding, or Dispossess Case, with the Housing Court and choose a court date. The landlord is required to serve the tenant with a copy of the complaint. The tenant may answer the summons or appear at the eviction hearing to contest the eviction. On the court date, both sides will be provided time to present their evidence. If the tenant fails to attend the hearing, a default judgement will be awarded to the landlord.
Once Eviction Occurs
If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will receive a 72-Hour Notice of Eviction from the City Marshal. This notice will inform the tenant of the day that the Marshal has scheduled his/her eviction. The tenant may stop a scheduled eviction by filing an affidavit with the Clerk of Court. This statement is referred to as an Order to Show Cause and allows the tenant to explain his/her side of the case. The tenant is required to explain why he/she did not attend the court hearing as well as his/her defense against the claims the landlord made. If the judge signs the Order to Show Cause, the tenant must deliver the papers to the Marshal’s Office and to the landlord or his/her attorney.
The signed Order to Show Cause will provide the time and date that the tenant may speak to the court. If the tenant is late to the court hearing, he/she may be evicted.
Unlike most states, the state of New York provides landlords with no guidance as to how to deal with personal property left behind by the tenant after an eviction.
Make sure to read the New York Consolidated Laws RPA Article 7 § 711(2), RPP Article 7 §§ 226-C, 228, 231, 232-A & 232-B, as well as the New York State Courts’ New York City Landlords & Owners booklet before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.